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Fantasy · Fiction · Flash Fiction · Heavy Handed Parable · Modern Fantasy

The Cuckoo

Masque hiding from the Cuckoo

“Cuckoo, cuckoo!” The Cuckoo cried. His bright orange plumage flowed behind him, catching the sunlight just so. The people flocked to him, tripping over themselves to give him their riches. He’d grow fat on the wealth of faraway lands and promised to show the people his ways.

Soon the riches of the people dwindled. Angry, they cried to The Cuckoo for answers.

“It is the poor,” he said. “They are lazy, doing nothing all day and taking what they don’t deserve.” So the people turned on the poor, taking back what was rightfully theirs.

“Cuckoo, Cuckoo!” The Cuckoo cried. Surrounded in riches his orange plumage shimmer and shined, proof that his ways worked. The people flocked to him, tripping over themselves to give him their food. This was the cost of learning his ways and they were all eager to grow fat on the wealth of faraway lands.

Soon the people’s food dwindled. Hungry, they cried to The Cuckoo for answers.

“It is the outsiders,” he said. “They come from faraway lands to steal what is yours and take it back to their homes.” So the people turned on the outsiders, taking back what was rightfully theirs.

“Cuckoo, Cuckoo!” The Cuckoo cried. Fat and bloated now, his orange plumage shone with the grease of too many meals. The people flocked to him, tripping over themselves to give him their blood. He had shown them the truth of who was to blame for their plight, and now they were sure he would show them the way to grow fat from the wealth of faraway lands.

Soon the people’s blood dwindled. Exhausted, they cried to The Cuckoo for answers.

“It is your neighbor,”  he said. “See how he jealously guards what is his while demanding you share what is yours in the name of fairness?” So the people turned on each other, trying to take back what was rightfully theirs.

As The Cuckoo stripped the last shred of flesh from the last body his bright orange plumage glowed in the flames of the wreckage. Packing his riches he skipped off to the next faraway land to show them his ways, softly singing to himself, “cuckoo, cuckoo.”

Fantasy · Fiction · Flash Fiction · Heavy Handed Parable · Modern Fantasy

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